Friday, 14 March 2014

Bhukailash Rajbari

The book i read last was Amitav Ghosh's The Calcutta Chromosome.  I hadn't read any Ghosh and just went through his blog as an ice breaking session. It is there that i came across this place. He had listed it among the ten places he liked the most in the world. I HAD to go there. Looked up the directions on line and learnt that it was 13 kilometers from where i am. I decided to cycle. Cycling is prohibited on most roads in this route but i decided to trust my ability to pursue and do it anyway. 
When i entered Park Street i saw the entrance to the oldest and biggest cemetery here. I had once gone there only to find it shut. Had all the time in the world so decided to go in. The sepulchers are huge. Lovely place to contemplate the meaninglessness of life etc. Made a quick sketch while there. 

 South Park Street Cemetery

 Bhukailash Rajbari (pronounced Rajbadi. The 'r' is because of the Bengali accent of 'da' for 'ra'. Like how 'zee' is 'see' for most malayalees.) is really good for spending some lone time. Its right in middle of all Kidderpore's noise, but still is silent. But i am sort of allergic to religious chantings so that was a problem. It used to be the living place of old zamindar families of Bengal. What he had said in his post was true. People in the area themselves hardly knew about the place. I had to ask a lot of them and was often given wrong directions. Looks a bit like this. The blog shows a couple of photographs. 

 Bhukailash Rajbari

To be frank I didn't understand why Ghosh had found this place that intriguing. I would not have it in my top ten places to visit in Kolkata itself. 
Calcutta Chromosome is a really exciting and thrilling read. If you like Kolkata you will have a great time reading passages set in places you know and have been to. It is worth reading even if you don't.

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